Huskers Close Non-Con Slate at Cincinnati
Game #12 at Cincinnati
Game Date Dec. 28, 2013
Tipoff Time 11:02 a.m. (CT)
Venue Fifth Third Arena
2013-14 Record: 8-3, 0-0 Big Ten
Head coach: Tim Miles
Record at Nebraska: 23-21 (2nd year)
Career Record: 306-241 (19th year)
2013-14 Record: 10-2, 0-0 American Athletic Conf.
Head Coach: Mick Cronin
Record at Cincinnati: 145-102 (8th year)
Career Record: 214-126 (11th year)
Huskers on TV/Radio/Internet
DirecTV (Ch. 209); DISH (Ch. 144); Time Warner Cable (Chs. 35/1302), Cox Cable (Chs. 32/1030)
Play-by-play: Mark Neely
Expert Analysis: Dan Dakich
Online: WatchESPN app and WatchESPN.com
Radio: IMG Husker Sports Radio Network, including KLIN (1400 AM/94.5 FM) in Lincoln, KFAB (1110 AM) in Omaha and KRVN (880 AM) in Lexington.
Play-by-play: Kent Pavelka
Expert Analysis: Matt Davison
Internet Radio/Stats: Free on Huskers.com
Satellite Radio (Cincinnati feed): Sirius Ch. 92, XM Ch. 190
Huskers Close Non-Conference Slate at Cincinnati
The Nebraska basketball team wraps up the non-conference portion of the 2013-14 slate on Saturday morning, as the Huskers head to Cincinnati for a matchup with the Bearcats.
Tipoff is set for 11:02 a.m. at Fifth Third Arena and the game will be carried nationally on ESPN2 with Mark Neely and Dan Dakich on the call. The game is also available on the WatchESPN app and at WatchESPN.com.
Saturday’s game will also be carried across the state on the 27-station Husker Sports Network with Kent Pavelka and Matt Davison calling all of the action, including flagship stations KLIN (1400 AM/94.5 FM) in Lincoln and KFAB (1110 AM) in Omaha (complete list of affiliates is on page five of the game notes). The game can also be heard for free on Huskers.com and is available on the Huskers’ app on iOS or android devices, as well as Sirius and XM Radio.
Saturday’s game at Cincinnati begins a challenging three-game road swing for the Huskers over an eight-day span, as the three foes (Cincinnati, No. 22 Iowa and No. 3 Ohio State) are a combined 33-5 on the season.
The Huskers returned from a short holiday break with an 8-3 record following a 77-62 win over The Citadel on Dec. 21. In that game, sophomore Terran Petteway led all scorers with 27 points, hitting 9-of-18 shots from the floor to pace three players in double figures. The Huskers out-scored the Bulldogs, 45-30, in the second half to break a 32-all deadlock, as sophomore Shavon Shields scored 15 of his 17 points after halftime.
Petteway, who leads the Huskers and ranks sixth in the Big Ten with 16.8 points per game, has played some of his best basketball in recent weeks, averaging 19.7 points per game on 52 percent shooting over the Huskers’ last three contests. The 6-foot-6 sophomore now has a team-high four 20-point games in 2013-14.
Cincinnati is 10-2 on the season following a 40-point rout of Chicago State on Dec. 23. The Bearcats have won three straight games, including a neutral-site win over previously unbeaten Pittsburgh in Madison Square Garden. Cincinnati will pose a tough defensive challenge, as the Bearcats are fourth nationally in scoring defense and have not allowed more than 67 points in any of its 12 games.
Following Saturday night’s game, the Huskers will turn their attention to Big Ten play, as Nebraska opens conference action on New Year’s Eve at Iowa. In all, three of the Huskers’ first four Big Ten games are away from Pinnacle Bank Arena.
By the Numbers
2010-11 - Last time Nebraska had an unbeaten home non-conference last before this season. Included in the wins were victories over NCAA Sweet 16 participants Florida Gulf Coast and Miami.
13-to-1 - Senior Ray Gallegos’ assist-to-turnover ratio since moving back into the starting lineup on Dec. 4. Gallegos has had career bests in assists in each of Nebraska’s last two games.
6th/19th - Cincinnati’s and Nebraska’s national ranking in turnover margin in the latest NCAA stats. Nebraska has not had a game with a negative turnover margin during the 2013-14 season.
8 - Number of Huskers with double-digit scoring efforts this season, including a team-high 10 from sophomore Terran Petteway. Last year, Nebraska had only seven players reach double figures in a game.
The Bearcats come into Saturday’s game with a 10-2 record and riding a three-game win streak following a 102-62 rout of Chicago State on Monday night. The Bearcats’ only losses have been at New Mexico (54-63) and against crosstown rival Xavier (47-64). Cincinnati’s best wins were a home victory over North Carolina State (68-57) and a 44-43 win over Pittsburgh at Madison Square Garden. Cincinnati has been tough at home, going 9-0 with every win coming by double figures this season and the Bearcats are 48-4 in its last 52 regular-season non-conference home games.
Cincinnati is coached by Mick Cronin, who is in his eighth year at the school after serving as head coach at Murray State. The Bearcats have made the last three NCAA Tournaments, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2012. Last year, Cincinnati fell to Creighton in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Bearcats’ strength is on the defensive end, where they rank fourth nationally in scoring defense. UC has not allowed an opponent to score more than 67 points in a game this year and five of 12 foes have been held to less than 60 points. Opponents shoot just 38 percent and the Bearcats force nearly 17 turnovers per game.
Cincinnati has an experienced lineup with three seniors, led by Sean Kilpatrick, who leads the Bearcats with 18.9 points per game. He is shooting 41 percent from 3-point range and has 34 of UC’s 72 3-pointers on the year. Senior Justin Jackson is also averaging double figures with 11.1 points per game, while topping the Bearcats in rebounding (7.7 rpg), blocked shots (3.0 bpg) and field goal percentage (.552).
Series History vs. Cincinnati
Cincinnati leads the all-time series, 3-0, but Saturday’s matchup is the first between the schools since the 1996-97 season. In that game, the Huskers lost to the sixth-ranked Bearcats in the semifinals of the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic. The other two games both took place at Cincinnati, with those matchups coming in the 1948-49 and 1960-61 campaigns. Next year’s game in Lincoln will be the first in Nebraska in series history.
Nebraska is 7-17 all-time against the schools in the American Athletic Conference, a league which includes future Big Ten member Rutgers. The two-game home-and-home basketball series was announced as part of multi-sport agreement, as the teams will also meet in football during the 2020 (Lincoln) and 2025 (Cincinnati) seasons.
Last time Out
Behind a game-high 27 points from Terran Petteway, the Nebraska men’s basketball team put away a stubborn Citadel squad, 77-62, on Dec. 21.
Petteway scored 16 of his 27 points in the first half to keep Nebraska in the game before the Huskers took control in the second half. Shavon Shields and Leslee Smith joined Petteway in double figures, scoring 17 and 10 points, respectively. Shields had 15 of his 17 points in the second half, while Smith came off the bench with his second double-double of the year, as he grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds for Nebraska.
Nebraska shot 62 percent in the second half, while holding the Bulldogs to just 36 percent shooting after halftime.
Nebraska fell behind early, as the Citadel used an 8-0 run to take a 13-8 lead on Matt Van Scyoc’s jumper before the Huskers regrouped behind the play of Petteway. The sophomore wing ended the drought with a 3-pointer from the corner off a Deverell Biggs steal before Petteway’s driving layup tied the score at 13. Huskers lead 20-18, but the Citadel went on an 8-1 run and took a 26-21 lead after a Brian White 3-point play with 3:57 in the half and eventually led by as many as eight points. Trailing 32-25, the Huskers closed the half by scoring the final seven points to pull even heading into the locker room.
Nebraska turned up the defensive intensity as a Gallegos steal led to a Petteway basket before Benny Parker’s blocked shot ignited another fast break capped by Gallegos’ layup. Nebraska then forced an airball to get one final possession in the half, and Petteway hit a long 3-pointer to knot the contest.
Nebraska continued the run in the early moments of the second half, as two quick baskets by Shields completed an 11-0 Huskers run and gave NU a 36-32 lead. The Huskers continued to extend the lead as two Walter Pitchford baskets extended Nebraska’s lead to 40-35, as NU hit six of its first seven shots after the break after shooting 42 percent in the first half.
The Citadel would not go away, scoring seven of the next nine points to pull even at 42 after a Tom Koopman layup and eventually took a 51-49 lead on a Quinton Marshall’s basket with 11:13 remaining.
Leading 57-56, the Huskers took control down the stretch, as Petteway’s basket and a 3-ponter by Shields triggered a 9-0 Husker run that gave Nebraska a 66-56 lead with 4:00 left. Over the final eight minutes, Nebraska held The Citadel to 1-of-10 shooting, as Nebraska outscored the Bulldogs, 20-6 in that stretch.
Quick Look at Nebraska
As second-year coach Tim Miles continues his rebuilding process at Nebraska, the Huskers’ roster is starting to take shape. Only two of the 12 players on scholarship have been at NU longer than two seasons (Ray Gallegos and David Rivers), while Gallegos is the only scholarship senior on the 2013-14 roster.
Miles, who was given a seven-year contract when he was hired in 2012, led the Huskers to a 15-18 record last year, as 14 of NU’s 18 losses came against NCAA Tournament teams despite having only eight recruited scholarship players available. Nebraska played one of the nation’s toughest schedules in 2012-13, facing 10 ranked teams while the strength of schedule was 13th nationally. The Huskers finished 10th in the Big Ten in 2012-13 after being picked to finish last by 23 of the 24 beat writers in the league.
This season, Nebraska is again picked 12th in the preseason poll of writers with a roster which is 293rd (of 351 teams) in experience according to KenPom.com. Six of NU’s 10 primary rotation players are in their first year of competition at Nebraska, although three of the newcomers (Pitchford-Florida; Smith-SMU; Petteway-Texas Tech) have previous Division I experience.
Finding Offensive Pace
Despite having six new faces in Nebraska’s primary 10-man rotation, the Huskers have been a much more prolific offensive team in 2013-14. The Huskers are averaging 11 points more per game than at this point last year, including a season-high 90 points against UMass on Nov. 21 - NU’s highest single-game total since the 2009-10 season.
•-Nebraska’s team scoring average of 73.4 points per game marks only the fourth time since 2000 that Nebraska has averaged more than 70 points per game through the first 11 contests and the first time since 2006-07.
•-Nebraska’s average after 11 games is the highest since the 2005-06 squad also averaged 73.4 points per game in its opening stretch.
•-Nebraska has scored 80 or more points in consecutive games against South Carolina State and UMass, the first time that has happened since January of 2009 (vs. Maryland Eastern Shore and Florida A&M).
•-Nebraska has had eight of its 10 regulars reach double figures at least once in the first 11 games. NU had two games with five players in double figures and three other games where four players scored double figures.
•-Nebraska has already scored 75 or more points five times after just reaching that plateau twice in 33 games last season, as the Huskers were 12th in the Big Ten in scoring offense, averaging 58.3 points per game.
•-According to KenPom.com, Nebraska ranks 34th in free throw percentage rate this season after ranking 331st nationally in the category in 2012-13. Two of Miles’ final three Colorado State teams ranked in the top 40 in that category.
Setting a Benchmark
As the Huskers have looked at different lineup combinations, one constant during non-conference play has been improved bench play. Nebraska is averaging 24.9 points and 15.7 rebounds per game from its bench entering Saturday’s game with Cincinnati, with Deverell Biggs and Leslee Smith providing much of the punch off the bench.
Biggs is third on the team in scoring at 9.3 ppg while averaging 18.8 minutes per outing. He is shooting 42 percent from the floor and from 3-point range, and is fifth among all Big Ten bench players in scoring average. Biggs scored a season-high 18 points against Northern Illinois on Nov. 30, one of three double-figure efforts this season. The 6-foot guard also led NU with six rebounds in the loss to Creighton on Dec. 8, and dished out a season-high six assists against Arkansas State on Dec. 14.
The unsung hero of the Huskers’ bench has been junior college transfer Leslee Smith, who gives the Huskers a physical post presence off the bench. He is averaging 8.4 points per game on 59.3 percent shooting while also grabbing a team-high 6.8 rebounds per game to rank 10th in the conference. Smith posted his second double-double of the season against The Citadel on Dec. 21, with 10 points and 10 rebounds in a season-high 29 minutes.
The primary rotation is rounded out by guards Benny Parker and Nathan Hawkins and forward David Rivers.
•-Nebraska’s bench has out-scored its opponents in eight of the last nine games since Biggs and Ray Gallegos returned to the lineup on Nov. 17.
•-Last year, Ray Gallegos and Dylan Talley both ranked among the top five in the Big Ten in minutes per game at over 35 minutes per game. This year, no Husker is averaging more than 31 minutes per game, while nine Huskers average at least 14 minutes per game.
•-Against Florida Gulf Coast on Nov. 8, sophomore Benny Parker had a career-high nine points and two steals in 27 minutes. He single-handedly sparked the Huskers in a 10-0 second half run with seven points and both steals.
•-In NU’s win over Western Illinois on Nov. 12, Smith had 10 points, five rebounds and a pair of steals in 20 minutes. Smith scored six of his points in a 23-7 first-half run, turning a one-point lead into a 17-point advantage.
•-Against South Carolina State, Nebraska’s bench combined for 51 of the 83 points, making the fifth time in the last decade NU has received at least 50 points from its bench.
•-In the loss against UMass, forwards Leslee Smith and David Rivers stepped up, as the duo combined for 22 points and 13 rebounds. Smith recorded his first double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds and three blocked shots, while Rivers added 10 points, three rebounds and a career-best four steals.
•-Against UAB, Biggs led the bench with 11 points in 17 minutes, while Gallegos, who was not expected to play after suffering a knee injury against UMass, added nine points, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range.
•-In the win over Georgia, freshman Tai Webster added 14 points, including 13 in the second half, and three assists while Gallegos added 11 points, including three 3-pointers. Smith led NU with 11 boards and chipped in eight points, as the Husker bench combined for 38 points against the Bulldogs.
•-Against Northern Illinois, Deverell Biggs came off the bench to score a season-high 18 points and grab four rebounds, while Leslee Smith had 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting and nine rebounds.
•-Leslee Smith carried the Husker bench in the win over Miami with seven points and a game-high 10 rebounds in the 60-49 win.
•-Against Arkansas State, the Husker bench out-scored Arkansas State, 28-14, as Deverell Biggs had eight points and a season-high six assists, while Leslee Smith, Nathan Hawkins and Benny Parker had at least six points each.
Record-Breaking Season Ticket Sales
The move to Pinnacle Bank Arena has been a boon to Nebraska basketball, as the Husker program has shattered season-ticket records. On May 3, all of the season tickets allotted for 2013-14 had been accounted for, as season-ticket sales were up nearly 95 percent from 2012-13.
In addition, all 1,650 seats in the Nebraska student section - including all 1,000 lower-bowl seats - had been purchased for the 2013-14 season. The previous school record for season ticket sales was 12,000 set in 1992-93. Nebraska is averaging 15,143 fans per game in 2013-14, including the four largest crowds in school history.
The Huskers have rewarded the fans during non-conference play, going 7-0 at home and out-scoring foes by 15.4 points per game. Six of Nebraska’s wins have been by double figures. With Saturday’s win over the Citadel, the Huskers posted their first unblemished non-conference home mark since the 2010-11 campaign, the school’s final season in the Big 12.
Cincinnati Marks Fourth NCAA Tournament Team Faced in 2013-14
Saturday’s game against Cincinnati is the fourth 2013 NCAA Tournament team Nebraska has faced this season. The Huskers are 2-1 with victories over NCAA Sweet 16 qualifiers Florida Gulf Coast and Miami and a road loss at Creighton. In addition, Nebraska also faced UMass, which reached the NIT in 2012-13, and Western Illinois, a CIT qualifier, during non-conference action.
The Son Also Rises
Nebraska sophomore Shavon Shields is on his way to creating an impressive resume in his own right. While his father, Will, is one of the greatest linemen in college and NFL history, the younger Shields has played an integral role over the last two years on the court.
As a freshman, Shavon overcame an early season elbow injury and averaged 8.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game in 29 games despite playing once in the first six games because of an elbow injury. Shields started to shine during the 2013 Big Ten Tournament, averaging 16.5 points on 61 percent shooting in games against Purdue and Ohio State and becoming a leading option.
One of three captains this season, Shields picked up right where he left off and comes into this weekend averaging 13.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. He is 15th in the Big Ten in scoring and is first or second on the Husker squad in scoring, rebounding and assists. Shields has played some of his best basketball over the last three weeks, averaging 18.0 points per game while shooting nearly 60 percent from the field. He has started Nebraska’s last 30 games, the longest streak on the Husker roster.
Against the Citadel on Saturday, he had 15 of his 17 points in the second half, as the Huskers pulled away late. Shields topped Nebraska in scoring in the previous two games, as he had 15 points and three steals against Arkansas State and 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting in the loss at Creighton on Dec. 8. His effort against the Bluejays marked his second 20-point game of the year and first since the season opener. Shields enjoyed his best game of the year against Sweet 16 qualifier Florida Gulf Coast, scoring a game-high 28 points - one off his career high - on 8-of-13 shooting from the field and a perfect 12-of-12 from the line. The 6-foot-7 forward also led NU in rebounds (six) and assists (three) en route to earning Big Ten Player of the Week and the Lute Olson Award National Player of the Week. Shields’ 28-point night marked the most points by a Husker in a season opener since 2006.
How Shavon spent His Summer
Shavon Shields spent part of the summer with the Denmark U-20 National Team, leading the country to the 2013 Nordic Cup Championship. He averaged 13.3 points per game in wins over Sweden, Finland and Estonia, capping the tournament with a 17-point, 12-rebound effort in a 101-94 double overtime win over Estonia. Shields had nine points in the opener against Sweden and 14 points in the victory over host Finland.
Transfers Make Immediate Impact for Big Red
While the Huskers were short-handed last year with just eight recruited scholarship players available for action, Nebraska knew that help was on the way in the form of transfers Walter Pitchford, Terran Petteway and Deverell Biggs. The trio led a scout team which regularly pushed the Husker starters in practice and set the stage for the 2013-14 season.
Pitchford, who played 13 games at Florida in helping the Gators to the Elite Eight in 2011-12, gives the Huskers an athletic big man with extended shooting range. The 6-foot-10 center is averaging 9.0 points per game on 50 percent shooting, including 16-of-33 shooting from 3-point range. Pitchford, who also is averaging 4.6 rebounds per game, is 11th in the conference in 3-point percentage. He enjoyed his best game of the season against Arkansas State on Dec. 14, posting 12 points and a career-best 10 rebounds for his first double-double. He has been in double figures five imes, including a season-high 14 points against Western Illinois on Nov. 12. He played a promiment role in the win over Miami, as he had 13 points and five rebounds.
Petteway, who began his career at Texas Tech, has been one of the Huskers’ most valuable performers. He is sixth in the Big Ten in scoring at 16.8 ppg while also averaging 4.6 caroms per outing. He has scored 20-or-more points four times this season following his game-high 27 point effort against the Citadel last time out.
Petteway led NU at the Charleston Classic last month, averaging 22 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. Against UMass on Nov. 21, Petteway topped the Huskers with 30 points, as he became the 25th player in school history to have a 30-point game. Petteway had 17 points in the opener against Florida Gulf Coast on Nov. 8, and nearly had a double-double in NU’s win over Western Illinois on Nov. 12, with 13 points and nine rebounds. Petteway led NU in scoring for the fourth time in five games with 14 points - all coming in the second half - and three blocked shots against Miami on Dec. 4 and added 21 points and five rebounds in the loss to Creighton on Dec. 8.
Biggs made his Husker debut in the win over South Carolina State, scoring 17 points, grabbing four rebounds and dishing out a pair of assists in 23 minutes off the bench. He has come off the bench, averaging 9.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. Biggs had a game-high 18 points on 5-of-9 shooting in NU’s win over Northern Illinois on Nov. 30, including four free throws in the final eight seconds to clinch the win. He led NU in rebounding against Creighton with six in 18 minutes off the bench on Dec. 8 and topped the Huskers with six assists and added eight points in 14 minutes in a win over Arkansas State on Dec. 14. Biggs earned first-team NJCAA All-America honors at Seward Community College in 2011-12 before redshirting last season.
Petteway Puts Up 30 vs. UMass
Nebraska sophomore Terran Petteway enjoyed the finest offensive performance of his career in the Huskers’ loss against UMass on Nov. 21. Petteway hit 8-of-20 shots from the floor, including a trio of 3-pointers, and converted 11 of 12 shots from the foul line, scoring 30 points in 29 minutes of work. Petteway became the 25th player in school history to have a 30-point game at Nebraska. Of the 25 players, only 12 have multiple 30-point games in their Husker career. He joins Ray Gallegos, who had a 30-point effort last season at Minnesota, as active Huskers with career 30-point games.
Value the Basketball
Under Tim Miles, one major emphasis is taking care of the basketball, and the Huskers were among the nation’s best in that category in 2012-13. Nebraska finished 10th nationally with 10.7 turnovers per game - nearly three fewer than 2011-12. NU’s turnovers per game were the fewest in school history, bettering the 11.30 per game in 1984-85. Nebraska committed 10 turnovers or less 15 times in 2012-13, including a school-record two turnovers against Purdue on Jan. 16.
This season, the Huskers have been among the national leaders in that category, ranking 31st nationally with 10.4 turnovers per game. The Huskers have only reached double figures in turnovers five times in 11 games. Nebraska also ranks second in the Big Ten in turnover margin at +4.2 per contest. The Huskers also do a good job of getting the ball from opponents, ranking second in the Big Ten in both steals (8.4 per game) and turnovers forced (14.5 per game)
Webster Makes a Point, Plays the Point
Tai Webster has found a home in the Huskers’ backcourt, averaging 6.5 points, 2.5 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game entering Saturday’s game with Cincinnati.
Webster has been a much better distributor in recent games, setting or tying career highs in assists in each of the last five games before it was snapped against the Citadel on Dec. 21. He has a 1.6-to-1 assist-to-turnover rate in that stretch, compared to a 0.7-to-1 ratio in the first five games of the season, and had five assists against Miami, Creighton and Arkansas State.
The 6-foot-4 freshman enjoyed the best game of his career on Nov. 24 against Georgia, scoring 14 points and dishing out three assists in NU’s 73-65 win. Webster scored 13 of his points in the second half and went 7-of-9 from the foul line. It was his second double-figure effort of the Charleston Classic, as he totaled 12 points and two assists in NU’s loss to UMass.
With his start against Florida Gulf Coast on Nov. 8, Webster became just the ninth true freshman to start a season opener in the last 18 years. Webster totaled nine points, two rebounds and an assist in helping the Huskers to a 79-55 win. He reached double figures for the first time in his young career against South Carolina State on Nov. 17, totaling 13 points, four rebounds and two assists.
Although he is a freshman, Webster was considered one of the top international guards in this year’s senior class. He played for New Zealand’s national team in qualifying for the 2012 Olympics, averaging 13.5 points per game in 52.5 percent shooting in three games. He also played in New Zealand’s National Basketball League, averaging 18.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game last spring despite being the youngest player in the league. Webster is among the five Big Ten freshmen to watch by ESPN’s Paul Biancardi, joining Indiana’s Noah Vonleh, Illinois’ Kendrick Nunn, Michigan’s Zak Irvin and Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes.
Double-Figure Returneees Rare Recently
Nebraska regained the services of its top scorer on Nov. 17, as senior Ray Gallegos returned from a two-game suspension against South Carolina State. Gallegos, who averaged 12.5 points per game in 2012-13, returned with a flourish, scoring 18 points in NU’s 83-57 victory. He suffered a knee strain against UMass, but bounced back in the final two games in Charleston, hitting 6-of-10 from 3-point range. Gallegos’ per-game average is the most for a Husker returner since Aleks Maric in 2007-08. In fact, Nebraska has returned only four double-figure scorers since the 2006-07 season.
Gallegos Dials in From Long Distance
Senior guard Ray Gallegos gives the Huskers a long-range shooter who can get on a roll from long distance. He comes into Saturday’s game ranked sixth in the Big Ten with 2.1 3-pointers per game, as he leads the Huskers with 19 3-pointers despite missing the first two games. Gallegos enjoyed his most well-rounded game of the year against Miami on Dec. 4, with eight points and season highs in rebounds (five) and assists (three). Against Arkansas State on Dec. 14, Gallegos had 13 points, including a trio of 3-pointers, along with a career-high four assists.
As a junior, he connected on 83 3-pointers, a total which ranked second on Nebraska’s single-season list. It is more impressive when you consider that Gallegos made only 21 3-pointers during his first two seasons at Nebraska before redshirting in 2011-12.
•-He opened 2013-14 by hitting six of 10 3-pointers in a win over South Carolina State on Nov. 17, the fifth time he has hit on at least six 3-pointers in a game.
•-Gallegos now has 123 3-pointers in his career and now ranks 10th on NU’s career list. He is five 3-pointers shy of Paul Velander (128, 2006-09) for ninth place on the Husker career chart.
•-Gallegos led the Big Ten in 3-pointers per game (2.5 per game) during the 2012-13 season. He became the first Husker basketball player to lead the Big Ten in any statistical category.
•-Gallegos connected on a career-high seven 3-pointers at Iowa on March 9, 2013, a total which is one shy of Nebraska’s single-game record.
Gallegos was Husker Ironman
If it seems like Ray Gallegos was on the court nearly every minute last season, it probably is true, as he was one of the nation’s leaders in minutes played in 2012-13.
•-According to Kenpom.com, Gallegos ranked third nationally in percentage of minutes played, as he was on the court for 93.7 percent of the Huskers’ minutes in 2012-13. He trailed only Travis Bader of Oakland (94.8) and Kyle Vinales of Central Connecticut State (94.0) among all Division I players.
•-In the last five years (2009-2013), 16 Big Ten players, including Gallegos, have played at least 90 percent of their team’s minutes in a season, and Gallegos’ season total was second to Penn State’s Talor Battle in that stretch.
•-Gallegos played all 40 minutes 10 times in 18 Big Ten games and 12 times during the 2012-13 season. Gallegos set Nebraska’s single-season record for minutes with 1,237, breaking the mark of 1,155 by Dave Hoppen in 1984-85.
•-In Big Ten play, he averaged 38.6 minutes per game, sitting just 26 minutes in league play.
•-Gallegos was on the court consecutively for a stretch of 218:39 minutes dating from Dec. 29 to Jan. 19, playing all 40 minutes of Nebraska’s first five Big Ten games.
Captains Chosen for 2013-14 season
Nebraska Coach Tim Miles announced on Oct. 12 that senior Ray Gallegos and sophomores Shavon Shields and Terran Petteway were chosen as team captains for the 2013-14 season. It is the first time that any of the three Huskers had been chosen captain. Shields and Gallegos are returning starters who started 19 and 33 games, respectively, while Petteway sat out the 2012-13 season after transferring from Texas Tech.
The Huskers’ New Home
Opened on Aug. 29, 2013, the 15,000-seat Pinnacle Bank Arena is the new home of the Nebraska men’s and women’s basketball programs. Pinnacle Bank Arena is part of a $344 million project in the Haymarket District which also includes a 200-room hotel, 100,000 square feet of retail space, another 100,000 square feet of office space and 100 residential units.
The $179 million dollar arena is easily accessible in downtown Lincoln as nearly 5,100 parking stalls will be within walking distance of the facility by the fall of 2014. Pinnacle Bank Arena includes an expansive student section with 1,000 seats on the 100 Level, including behind the team benches. Pinnacle Bank Arena also includes 36 suites, 20 loge boxes and 11 permanent concession stands around the arena.
Containing 470,400 square feet, the Pinnacle Bank Arena seats over 15,000 fans when configured for Husker basketball games. It is divided into two bowls (upper and lower) and three levels (100, 200, 300) with Premium Seating Suites and Loge Boxes located between Level 100 and Level 200. There are over 160 concession points of sale and two private Club Lounges, one located on the Main Concourse (Level 100) and one on the Premium Level Concourse.